the wandering chick
...the Durango & Silverton Narrow-gauge Railroad
go along for the ride...it's a great one

For 130 years, the Durango-Silverton narrow-gauge railroad has been hauling first gold and silver, and then tourists along the banks of the scenic Animas River. The coal-fired steam locomotive pulls the cars through the picturesque wilderness of the San Juan National Forest along tracks used by miners and cowboys way back in the 1880s. Not much has changed...even the depot in Durango is the original.

A travel partner and I took the train on a brisk autumn day, and because we both wanted to take pictures, chose to sit in an open car. On those cars, instead of facing front and back, passengers face looking out the sides. If you're west-facing going, they try to seat you east-facing on the return...and vice versa, giving you optimal views. Not that anyone stays seated...with mountains looming overhead and the river running its course at your side, it's almost impossible to stay seated.

A word of warning, however: the train does rock and roll, since it's a narrow gauge railroad; and the soot from the coal WILL get in your eyes and on your clothing, an annoyance you're warned about before take off. Sunglasses can be bought on the train for protection.

But don't let this stop you. It is a wonderful, wonderful ride with truly remarkable scenery. The train typically has two morning departures from Durango. It's a three -and-a-half hour trip to and from Silverton. You get two hours in the town of Silverton for lunch and sightseeing.

leaving Durango
the steam locomotive
the scenery along the Animas River
the scenery along the Animas River
the scenery along the Animas River
the scenery along the Animas River
the scenery along the route
a rainbow effect from the steam and river
an area called Rockwood
At times along the route, steam is blown out over the river creating a rainbow.
the scenery along the Animas River
rainbow over the river created by the engine steam
the scenery along the Animas River
the scenery along the Animas River
the fall foliage along the route
fall foliage along the route
fall foliage along the route
a train trellis across the Animas River
fall foliage along the route
fall foliage along the Animas River
the scenery along the Animas River
the scenery along the Animas River
the scenery along the Animas River
the scenery along the Animas River
arriving Silverton
the scenery along the Animas River
the mountains above Silverton
the scenery along the Animas River
Arriving in Silverton, we're surrounded by mountains, some with a dusting of snow on top. Silverton's most prominent mountain is Anvil, shown below.
arriving Silverton
the town of Silverton
Silverton, a town once rich in the mining industry, is, today, mainly a train stop for tourists. Mostly restaurants and shops now line the streets, probably more than doubling in size when the train rolls in.
the town of Silverton
the Durango-Silverton locomotive
mountain peaks along the route
the scenery along the Animas River
the scenery along the Animas River
the scenery along the Animas River
the scenery along the Animas River
the train track along the Animas River
mixture of sun and steam through the trees
the train tracks along the Animas River

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